Beauty Moments: Make Up, Nails, Hair, Skincare, Fashion
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Implications Of The Written Word...

Twitter can be like texting.  Texts (SMS) are limited to 160 characters per message and Twitter is limited to 140 characters per tweet.  There's only so much you can type within those constraints to get your message across.  Of course there's the long message option which lets you type as much as you want and get it sent in several messages and TwitLonger which is the equivalent for Twitter (which unfortunately is not supported by Echofon and the Twitter website).

Anyways, the thing about the written word (like books and other printed publications) is what you say can easily be taken out of context.  Depending on how the reader phrases the sentences, what you type/write can be misconstrued and thought to have malicious intent even if those intentions were never there.

A few months back I was tweeting about how Carly (Hanh's bestfriend who'd just gotten started with YouTube videos at the time) had 8,000+ subscribers on her channel in a month.  I got a mention from a girl who was an aspiring vlogger and beauty enthusiast on YouTube stating her amazement at the numbers.  She seemed like a nice person so we both subbed each others channels and followed one another on Twitter.

She'd tweeted before that she wished that she could buy MAC products and recently she did at her local CCO and put up a haul video sharing her finds.  It's always nice to see people being able to buy things they've been wanting to get and that's among the reasons I love watching haul videos despite the bad rep they get sometimes.  Anyways, while watching the video, I kept getting distracted with her head movements and I felt annoyed that I was distracted by it.

Let me clarify.  I've always been comfortable with calling myself weird because I have odd quirks that my friends so lovingly joke about.  I have mild OCD (although not clinically proven) but there are things that completely annoys me and to most, they might not even be anything at all.  I used to arrange my books a certain way in my hostel room while I was still studying and get irritated when my things aren't put back where it should be.  For me, everything has a place and I live off organization products (organizers, multiple shelves, containers, boxes, plastic drawers, dividers, etc) and I love having my things in it's own space and compartment.  I like my clothes hung with the hangers facing the same way and preferably with the same type and coloured hangers, shirts according to colour and sleeve length and type and same goes for dresses too.  If you've read my previous post, you can probably tell how excited I was to install the 2 boxed shelves in my wardrobe cupboard to segregate my polo t-shirts, skirts, shorts, home pants, home t-shirts, sports pants and leggings. I was also excited to have my makeup brushes and long chain necklaces organized. I enjoy filing and can get a little too meticulous doing it and can go through several different designs/fonts for the labels before being fully satisfied.  I can't stand repetitive gestures (but am more tolerable if I know it's related to a disorder like spasms and other gestures/movements - i.e. blinking, nose scrunching, face twitching, muscle spasms).

Come one, I even use a mug holder to hold sticky tapes (various sizes) on my desk in the office. My colleague at work always make light hearted jokes about the way I eat, saying it's too systematic.  When I eat, I make a general assessment of the amount of food on my plate before I begin so I know how much I should have on my spoon when I eat.  If I'm eating meat, I'll spend the first few minutes slowly and carefully removing all (and I do mean ALL) the meat from the bones, separating any skin, fat, tendons and other non-meat parts as well as chilli flakes, parsley (I can't eat parsley, it overwhelms my tastebuds and I can't taste the rest of the food), chilli seeds, etc before I start eating.  The eating part on its own is a pretty quick process.  I always try to scoop a balance amount of veggies and meat and rice/noodles/potatoes with every bite as well.

OK, so now that you're acquinted with my quirky weird side (which is far more obvious when I'm eating. Haha), let's get back to the post.

After the Twitter comment, I proceeded to watch another video of hers prior to the haul video where she explains her eye condition.  I thought it was great that she was bringing to light and creating awareness on Congenital Nystagmus and talking about how she lives with it.  She also prides herself in being able to overcome her disabilities to come out as a straight "A" student and accomplish all that she has accomplished so far as should anyone her condition should.  It's always an inspiration to hear stories like hers, unfortunately even in her video/vlog talking about the subject, she stated that she wasn't comfortable discussing the subject and seemed rather insecure about it (which I suppose explains her high sensitivity to the matter).  After finding out about her condition and sensing her insecurities on the matter, I quickly switched to my Echofon and deleted my comment on her 'head bobbling' being a bit distracting before she could read it.  Now, turns out in my thread it was deleted but somehow she still got the comment.  Her response (read from the bottom up):

I was caught by surprise and tried clearing things up with her.  I also apologized for the misunderstanding.  If you know me, you would know that I had never meant it to be rude and that I never judge anyone.  In fact, I always remind my siblings to not judge people because you never know what they're going through.  My comment was simply honest feedback which I thought she would have appreciated to improve her videos.  Again I'd like to reiterate, I wasn't aware of her condition prior to the tweet.  Here are a few more comments we exchanged on her YouTube video:

I didn't have a problem with her eyes moving, I merely suggested that since I noticed her head moved far less when she looks at the camera than when she has her head down.  I also noticed that her head movement is fine when she turns to the side.  It's only when her head is down.  Looks like my suggestion was again misintepreted as offensive.  I'd even commended her on enjoying doing YouTube videos which I believe to be a good thing.  She claims that I judge her when she contradicts herself by judging me and attacking me when my comments were based on my own OCD condition.  Like I said, guess everyone gets misunderstood.  She tweets on her page that I didn't get that she's not taking rude comments from anyone and that apparently I wasn't getting it.  Ironically she also tweets that it was just the wrong topic and the wrong day (she doesn't like Mondays?) and I suppose that coupled with her fear of being ridiculed spurred some sort of retaliation on an innocent and harmless suggestion and honest feedback.

Here's her nice little summary about me (read from the bottom up):

With reference to the middle tweet, this is what I had tweeted prior:

I know it might not have been necessary to have even composed this post on this particular subject but I felt compelled to illustrate the impacts of the written word.  It's like poetry.  The poet creates his/her poem based on his/her emotion at the time and does it with words.  The same poem read by someone else going through a different set of emotions can see different meaning in those same words.  Although I may not have a lot of readers on this blog and I do it because of my love for writing, I thought that it would also be good to spread the awareness on her condition since it is not something one would come by often.  I have no hard feelings towards her even though she thinks I'm a jerk and blocked me on both YouTube and Twitter and propagated my "jerk-ness" to her followers.  I got misunderstood and my words misintepreted, c'est la vie.

Our London Hotel Dilemma...

A few weeks back my baby (he's not really a baby) brother and I took a long awaited vacation.  Well it was for me personally anyways.  I've been sooo stressed up with all that's been going on at work and everything else this was a very much welcomed delight (and surprise).

We had our travel arrangements (i.e. flights) set and booked our hotel online and even got the London Pass ready for the trip.  I'm not sure if I'll be doing another post on the trip or not (maybe I will with photos of places we managed to go to) but this post is basically gonna be about our disappointment with the hotel we'd booked online and should've gone for our first choice right from the start (which is where we ended up going to).

So basically, we went to the Hotels-London website to check out hotels (below GBP100) in the Bayswater area and after reading the reviews, viewing photos of the hotel and some discussion, we decided on Princes Square hotel which is about 400m walk from Bayswater tube station.

This is what the hotel room looked like on the Hotels-London website:

Gorgeous right? The price range for a night's stay in a Double Room was between GBP70+ to GBP90+ at the time.  We didn't mind if the room was small.  Apparently, hotel rooms there are comparatively smaller than what we Asians are used to.  Anyways, imagine our surprise when we went up to our room and found it to look a little like this:

This photo is from the hotel's website and the photo above is of a Triple Room I think.  We wanted a Double Room (i.e. with a Double Bed) and when we checked in we were told that they didn't have a Double room available for us.  Instead, we were checked into a Twin Room (below - photo from Agoda).

Even the beds there aren't the same size as those we Asians are used to.  Their twin beds were really single beds (not super single) and we barely had room to move around in there.  I wasn't feeling well during my stay there so we didn't really take any photos of the room.  Good thing we managed to get a refund for 7 out of the 9 nights we'd booked there (had to pay 2 nights stay due to their 48 hours cancellation policy).  The room was hot and suffocating.  We'd requested for a fan and that made it a teeny bit better.  Fortunately they had a pretty decent tower fan but it took up more space in the room.  The closet was about a foot deep and the only thing that was pretty nicely furnished was probably the bathroom.  Haha.  The reservation came with breakfast and well, the breakfast serve was OK.  They had cereal, fruits, oats, breads and buns as well as yoghurt with coffee and tea as well.

We felt misled and deceived.  Fortunately we got to move.  So before checking out the next day, we went to a nearby internet cafe (GBP1.50 for 75mins) and made bookings for the other hotel that we'd originally wanted to stay at.  We managed to get internet rates for the last 7 nights and regular published rates for that day which wasn't that bad.

Being Malaysians abroad, really makes you miss home.  So we ended up switching to Berjaya Eden Park Hotel which was less than 20m from Bayswater tube station. *smile*.  So this is what the room looks like on the Hotels-London website:

We only managed to get the Superior Double Rooms which are the newly renovated rooms (yay!).  For TV buffs like us, the 32" (I think) LCD TV was great compared to the 14" CRT wallmounted TV in our previous hotel.  There weren't even decent channels to watch in the previous hotel.  Now you might say that we should be outside exploring London instead of staying in the room watching TV.  But honestly, it would be incredibly boring without TV there (considering lack of freely available WiFi connections in the city).  Stores close early and attractions are mostly closed at 5.30pm.  What else was there to do after dark (we roam around til it's almost dark and head back after dinner)? We loved that the new room was more spacious and we could unpack and pack more comfortably (we came with 2 luggage bags and went home with 3 ballooned up luggages plus carry ons and plastic bags).  By the way, the room looked exactly like the photos above. :) They didn't have a lot of fans stocked up and the last one they had and brought up (a tower fan) to our room was faulty.  It was practically toppling over!! I was amazed that they still thought it was OK to use it honestly.  Haha.  Just because it blew wind didn't mean it was safe to use especially with the top part detached from the base and was practically only held together by the internal cables. We requested they took it back and spent the nights sleeping with the windows open (cool breeze).

Although we got a Double Room at Eden Park, the bed was still a foot shorter than my Queen Size bed at home.  Weird.  I thought Queen Size beds came standard. The bathroom was nice and sufficient despite it's size.  And the wardrobe was a lot more spacious for our jackets/coats and bags and shopping treasures.  Best part is they actually had a safe inside the room which was really handy.  I would've liked the room to have a double lock like the ones we have in our hotels here instead of just the knob lock (which can be opened by the housekeeping staff despite having turned the lock).  Since we were in the newer wing (I think), we had to take a flight of stairs up to the 1st floor then either another flight of stairs on another part of the building or the lift to the second floor.

OMG the lifts in both hotels were tiny!!  I'd say equivalent to a 1 or 2 star hotel in KL?  If you've been to Agora Hotel at Bukit Bintang, it's kinda like that.  The hallways are super narrow and the same goes for the stairs.  Nonetheless, the staff at Eden Park were really nice and helpful.  I wouldn't mind staying there again if given the chance.  Bayswater is a nice place to stay.  There are lots of souvenir shops along the Queensway Rd and there's lots of eateries in the area.  There is a mall at the end of the road near Westbourne Grove called Whiteley's that has stores like H&M, Zara, Tie Rack and a few more.  I believe they even have a cinema in there somewhere.  And of course a supermarket (Marks & Spencers). Across the street you can drop by SuperDrug and Boots (local drugstores) which usually open til 11pm or mighnight (except on Sundays where everywhere is closed early).

Anyways, Tune Hotels are opening their London hotel soon and it's located smack in the middle of the city at Westminster Bridge Road.  Looks decent and it's practically across the street from Lambeth North (Bakerloo Line) tube station and nearby the Waterloo station (Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines) as well.  Since it's by the roadside, buses shouldn't be too hard to come by either.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

iOS4 and the 3GS...

Finally after all the anticipation and anxious waiting, the iOS 4 was released on Monday (June 21st, 2010) in the US (late night June 21st/early morning June 22nd in Malaysia) and just about everyone rushed to get a hold of the latest OS for the iPhone & iPod Touch (I think it's also for the iPad but I'm not too sure).  Me being me just had to get it done almost immediately.  I would definitely recommend syncing and backing up your iPhone first before updating just to kinda speed the process up a bit if you haven't done it in awhile.  The update will require you to download the latest iTunes software (version 9.2) as well.

Anyways, here are my thoughts on the new OS on the 3GS (the iPhone 4 comes preinstalled with iOS 4 and will be available in Malaysia tentatively in August 2010).  Let me warn you this is going to be a pretty long post on one particular subject, the iOS 4 as experienced on the 3GS: